Medical research has shown that those who are currently obese with a body mass index (BMI) of 30-40 will likely remain so without intervention.
Obesity, the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States has been shown to have a correlation to life-threatening conditions such as heart disease, diabetes mellitus Type II, and high blood pressure; therefore, it should also be treated as a medical condition.
Now the FDA has approved the LAP-BAND procedure, the only device for bariatric surgery for patients with a BMI of 30-35 with one or more obesity-related co-morbid conditions like hypertension, diabetes, heart disease or sleep apnea.
True Results Medical Director, Dr. Paul O’Brien, is pleased “to see obesity acknowledged as a disease” that requires medical treatment and “nearly 26 million more Americans can now benefit from this safe, gentle and effective treatment to reach and maintain a healthy weight.”
The LAP-Band procedure has been shown to be 10 times safer than the gastric bypass and gastric sleeve procedures with proven long-term effectiveness for weight loss and maintenance.
The LAP-Band is a restrictive device that requires no cutting, stapling, or removal of any of the stomach and is adjustable and reversible. Lifestyle changes must be implemented for long-term weight loss and LAP-BAND can be used as a tool to achieve it.
New research shows that eating fast food can affect the inflammatory responses in blood vessels. Triglycerides, fat molecules associated with “bad cholesterol”, are known to increase the inflammatory response of the endothelium cells lining the arteries.
A project at UC Davis is trying to measure the triglyceride levels that can cause endothelial inflammation to help understand a person’s risk for vascular disease.
There is a link between belly fat, inflammation and thickening of the arterial walls that can cause heart disease and strokes.
The study took 61 volunteers with normal and high fasting triglyceride levels and different waist girths and fed them 2 breakfast sandwiches, hash browns, and orange juice.
After eating the high-fat meal, a particle called triglyceride-rich lipoprotein (TGRL) can bind to the endothelium lining arteries triggering inflammation and causing an immune response that brings white blood cells to repair the damage.
The researchers found that those with waists larger than 32 inches and high blood levels of triglycerides produced large TRGL particles which bound easily to the endothelial cells and caused inflammation in response to this immune chemical “trigger”.
Over time this leads to atherosclerosis, heart disease, and strokes.
The latest issue of the Journal of Nutrition published a study done on 1,800 people in Norway. They measured vitamin D levels and found that the more obese the lower the levels of vitamin D.
Obesity associated with lower vitamin D levels made sense since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and much of the vitamin produced in the skin or ingested is distributed in fat tissue. The study suggested that people who are obese may be less able to convert vitamin D into its hormonally active form.
Studies are ongoing regarding the recommended dosage for disease prevention. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) warned that intake of vitamin D over 4,000 IU (international units) per day increases the risk for harm to the body.
Along with calcium, vitamin D has long been recognized as important for bone health. Recently, studies have suggested that the vitamin plays a part in a certain diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases and some cancers. Obesity is a known risk factor for many of these diseases.
Bariatric surgery is utilized for weightloss in people suffering from Morbid Obesity, but now Bariatric Surgeons can also cure a common disease in obese patients…GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)!
Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF) is a long-term incision-less procedure performed with an innovative FDA-approved EsophyX surgical device that corrects the deficiency at the gastroesophageal junction (also referred to as the “Z-line”), which causes heartburn and/or acid reflux, which are both common symptoms of GERD.
The procedure helps eliminate GERD by reconstructing a strong anti-reflux valve and tightening the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES), therefore reestablishing a barrier to reflux and restoring the competency of the gastroesophageal junction.
TIF is performed with the patient under general anesthesia, the procedure takes less than an hour and most patients go home the next day. The EsophyX device is inserted through the mouth and gently advanced into the esophagus under direct visualization of a video camera that is inserted down the central shaft of the device. The EsophyX device is then used to create and fasten several tissue folds, to create a strong anti-reflux valve at the gastroesophageal junction.
In the weeks following surgery, a natural healing process fuses and cements the tissue folds to create a robust anti-reflux barrier.
Recent studies conclude ALL patients discontinued their Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) medication after the TIF procedure, and 79% remained completely off their daily medication two years after the procedure. Overall, patients reported 80% improvement in quality of life, with reduction/elimination of heartburn symptoms. Also, roughly 80% of patients experienced a reduction in their Hiatal Hernia, which is a defect in the diaphragm that allows the esophagus and top portion of the stomach to move from the abdominal cavity up into the chest cavity.
Overall, benefits of the TIF procedure performed with the EsophyX device allow for earlier and more effective intervention of GERD, thus minimizing the chances of developing malignant changes to the esophagus that may occur with long-standing GERD.
Most experts believe the RDA or Recommended Daily Allowance for vitamin D of 200 IU (International Units) for those younger than 50 years old and 600 IU for 70+ years old per day are too low.
A study published in Genome Research (8/10) supports the idea that vitamin D interacts with the genes involved with cancer and certain autoimmune diseases.
Experts say 2000 IU may be the optimal dose to prevent diseases like multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s, lupus, colorectal cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Vitamin D levels can be raised in the body by sunlight exposure and foods like fish and fortified milk, but as many as half of the U.S. population is deficient. The use of sunscreen has reduced sun exposure and most people do not get sufficient amounts from their diet.
Blood levels of the vitamin are measured as 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Levels below 20 nanograms per milliliter are generally considered deficient. Levels between 30 and 40 nanograms per milliliter may be the goal to reducing the risk of acquiring autoimmune diseases and certain cancers.
The impact of 2000 IU of vitamin D on 20,000 subjects for 5 years will be studied soon. We will soon have a better understanding of the optimal doses of vitamin D and the optimal blood levels associated with the best balance of benefits and risks. But currently there are many unanswered questions.